Question #296

What do you think of "Grace Centered Forum"?

What do you think of "Grace Centered Forum" at gracecentered.com?

The Answer:

It is apparently run by Joe Beam. Joe is far to the left of center in the church. In days past those who deserted the faith broke with the church. Now they have chosen to stay and see if they can change it to their liking. Joe may not like the description of him here, but his website has used numerous descriptions or labels if you please. It certainly disavows the use of labels, but describes them as necessary evils to delineate the different groups that they perceive to be in the church. Whatever they call them or whatever excuse they make does not change what they are – the very labels that they condemn when used by others. They claim to be related to the restoration movement, but they are much closer in belief to the Christian Church, the more liberal of which would hardly be recognized as part of the Restoration Movement. They are for the most part members of the category that they describe as more open in fellowship, i.e., they fellowship anyone who calls themselves Christian. Most likely they will rationalize that they cannot limit the grace of God, which is the explanation that one of their mind gave me. That is certainly true – no man can limit the grace of God. Unfortunately, while they cannot limit, they apparently have no problem with extending it to those who have not been obedient to the gospel and who do not follow the patterns of work and worship set forth in the Scripture. Their answer to this is that that which we perceive as a pattern is just our interpretation and others are entitled to theirs. This position basically says that there is no correct interpretation of scripture and each person or group is entitled to his or its own private interpretation. That means that truth is relative and each is entitled to his or its own truth. If that is the case how can they deny the truth of the atheist that there is no God. The same passage that says there is one God says that there is one faith. Eph. 4:3-6. If there can be as many faiths (interpretations) as there are people and groups, by what logic can there not be as many gods as there are people and groups. Why can there not be the faith or interpretation that there is no God at all?

Simply put, gracecentered.com is filled with contradictions of scripture and false teaching.


God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)